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Grimms Fairy Tales and German Folktales
A merchant had done good business at the fair. He had sold his
wares, and lined his money-bags with gold and silver. Then he
wanted to travel homewards, and be in his own house before
nightfall. So he packed his trunk with the money on his horse,
and rode away.
At noon he rested in a town, and when he wanted to go farther
the stable-boy brought out his horse and said, a nail is
wanting, sir, in the shoe of its near hind foot. Let it be
wanting, answered the merchant. The shoe will certainly stay on
for the six miles I have still to go. I am in a hurry.
In the afternoon, when he once more alighted and had his horse
fed, the stable-boy went into the room to him and said, sir, a
shoe is missing from your horse's near hind foot. Shall I take
him to the blacksmith. Let it be wanting, answered the man.
The horse can very well hold out for the couple of miles which
remain. I am in haste.
He rode forth, but before long the horse began to limp. It had
not limped long before it began to stumble, and it had not
stumbled long before it fell down and broke its leg. The
merchant was forced
to leave the horse where it was, and unbuckle the trunk, take it
on his back, and go home on foot. And there he did not arrive
until quite late at night. And that cursed nail, said he to
himself, has caused all this disaster.
The more haste the less speed.